CHAPTER 13

At the Law Office of Jacqueline Y. Blade, we help clients achieve essential debt relief objectives through intelligent use of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy procedure. Contact us in Westlake Village to find out whether Chapter 13 makes sense for you and your financial situation.

Debt Relief Through Monthly Plan Payments Under Chapter 13

A fundamental goal of the federal bankruptcy laws enacted by Congress is to give debtors a financial "fresh start" from burdensome debts. The Supreme Court made this point about the purpose of the bankruptcy law in a 1934 decision:

"[I]t gives to the honest but unfortunate debtor…a new opportunity in life and a clear field for future effort, unhampered by the pressure and discouragement of preexisting debt." Local Loan Co. v. Hunt, 292 U.S. 234, 244 (1934).

Chapter 13 is a particularly good option for those people who are regular wage earners and have enough net disposable income to pay back a portion of their debt over a 3 – 5 year period. It represents a flexible approach to bankruptcy that does not necessarily represent a debtor's first choice, but nonetheless can accomplish several goals, including several that Chapter 7 cannot achieve.

For example, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy also allows a debtor to strip off the unsecured portion of a lien. In other words, liens that attach to an exempt asset can be avoided to the extent the lien impairs the value of the exemption (11 USC 522(f)). It will also allow a person to pay down nondischargeable debts such as tax arrearages or student loans over time under Bankruptcy Court protection. Another positive advantage of this chapter is the debtor's ability to protect important nonexempt assets by paying their value over time, rather than immediately turning over the assets or their value to a trustee (you get to keep your stuff).

Bankruptcy under Chapter 13 is not always easy. Its main feature is the formulation and performance of a debt repayment plan, which requires the ability and commitment to make monthly payments over a three to five-year period. The Chapter 13 debtor needs to generate steady income that can support living expenses and plan payments for the entire period.

Missing a payment, and especially a sequence of payments, raises a real risk of dismissal from Bankruptcy Court protection.

Westlake Village Chapter 13 attorney Jacqueline Y. Blade helps people understand the procedures and strategies that can make bankruptcy work for you, especially in cases involving mortgage arrears or difficulties with nondischargeable debts. Ms. Blade will make sure that your plan payments are based on a realistic view of your monthly income and expenses, so as to minimize your risk of missing a payment.

If you file a Chapter 13 petition then later lose your job or other source of income during the repayment period, our law firm can help you temporarily suspend your payments or convert your case to Chapter 7. Chapter 7 will accelerate your discharge on unsecured debts, which might open up cash flow for maintaining mortgage payments.

Ventura Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Attorney: Call 805-496-2311

When the Chapter 13 case is completed after your last plan payment, you will receive a discharge of all remaining general unsecured debts, and your mortgage defaults will have been cured. To learn more about the ways an experienced bankruptcy lawyer can guide you through Chapter 13 in Southern California, contact the Law Office of Jacqueline Y. Blade in Westlake Village.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.